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October 3, 2008

Markus Brier


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks for joining us, we know it gets a little chilly in Austria, but this is ridiculous for a golf course you must be absolutely freezing.
MARKUS BRIER: Yes, the first thing is to keep warm and to have the wooly hats and have the gloves out after the shots. Yeah, but it's the same for everybody, and I have a big partner so I can shelter behind him a little bit.
SCOTT CROCKETT: What was good about your own game today? It looked fairly consistent from the figures; what was particularly pleasing?
MARKUS BRIER: I didn't hit it too much off line. I kept it in the fairway and didn't struggle, no fairway bunkers or anything today, that was good. The long putts were good. I had quite a good feeling on the greens for the long putts, and, yeah, just stay out of trouble, just go for the middle of the green. Driver was working nicely, I hit it low and got it running.
Yeah, actually the downwind holes, I started on the 10th, wasn't going that well. I just didn't birdie like 12 or 14 which was pretty easy today, but then I kept it together on the back nine into the wind, holed a good putt on 6 for birdie and, yeah, just tried to avoid any stupid mistakes.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Just take your details, you started with a bogey, didn't you, what happened there?
MARKUS BRIER: I was a bit -- went actually to the back, the pin was all the way in the back and hit it too low and kept running and chipped it about ten, 12 feet past and missed the putt.
11, birdie, I hit a 4-iron and just how I wanted it to the back of the green on the slope and the wind took it back to about three feet. That was a nice comeback.
On 12, I drove it over the green and couldn't make it up-and-down.
Same on 14.
Then 18, I hit a good drive to about ten metres short of the green, putted it up, and holed it.
Bogeyed the 2. Actually a good drive and a 5-iron which I leaked to the right, and then I was just off the right. Bounced off and chipped it to maybe ten feet, missed it.
6, I hit a 4-iron a bit long right, and good seven-metre putt and dropped in, it was nice.
7, hit it really close, to like three inches or so with a 7-iron, which just came out perfectly. I couldn't actually see it over the ridge. It was nice to see it end up.
9, it was like on 12, I hit it through the green like 10, 15 metres behind the green, chipped it a bit too long, ten feet too long and missed the putt.

Q. Excuse the personal nature of my question, but are you wearing thermal underwear?
MARKUS BRIER: No. Just the normal rollneck. It's no special thermal thing. I've got a few layers.

Q. How many layers?
MARKUS BRIER: Four layers, just enough but then it gets too sticky. So I put a rain jacket over that, as well and I had my rain trousers on, so big trousers and the rain trousers, with the thermal things, they it keep warm but it's uncomfortable for me.

Q. Was the rain jacket one of the four layers that you had?
MARKUS BRIER: Yes, sleeveless one just to keep the body warm and still be able to move like the thick ones get a bit too flat sometimes. Wooly hat, gloves, like I said before.

Q. You can obviously play links golf, having seen what you've done the last two days, what's your previous experience on that and how well have you done over links courses in the past?
MARKUS BRIER: Actually, I didn't do too well in the Dunhill Links, but I played good last year at the Open at Carnoustie, finished 12th there. I've always liked it very much. I started 20 years ago as an amateur already, and I played a lot of tournaments here in Scotland on links golf courses and I always like it because it suits my game. I hit the ball quite low, and not really long.
So for me, it's just a matter of keeping it on the fairway and let the ball roll. And so that's what's needed in that wind, and that's why I've maybe had my advantages in conditions like this.

Q. Is that the coldest you've ever been on a golf course?
MARKUS BRIER: Probably. It's getting closer. I mean, we're playing in Austria sometimes in winter when it gets down to five, three degrees, but with the wind, I think it feels pretty cold but we're a bit more used to because I play in November and I even play in December sometimes. Once you get warmed up and you need maybe a bit more warm up in the morning to get the body moving, and then it's all right and then it's just try to do everything to keep warm. Especially the fingers. I think that's what's most important for the short game.

Q. Are you a good skier, or did you ski before you played golf?
MARKUS BRIER: I still ski. I'm still skiing. Good is relative in Austria, no. On a national basis, maybe. I can get down every slope and I go one or two weeks every year with my son. Yeah, still enjoy. Not as good as Franz Klammer by no means. Maybe the same difference like in golf.

Q. If you can come through on Sunday night and win this, would it be the highlight of your career so far?
MARKUS BRIER: Well, probably, the strength of the field and everything, my first win was great and emotional-wise, that will always be my highlight I think. It was in Austria, my first win, my home club, everything worked together. But on a golf basis, I think with that kind of field and on these golf courses, yes.

Q. You said your introduction to links golf was to years ago; can you remember which course and what your first reaction to it was?
MARKUS BRIER: I just have a very good memory when we played, I think it was '88 or '89 I played the Scottish Amateur Stroke Play at Troon, and that's where the training camp, we played Prestwick and Turnberry, preparation for that, and I think Andrew Coltart won it that year, so maybe '88 '90, somewhere around that, and that memory which still is there, and the winds was like this, it was that cold and I just remember hitting like drivers everywhere on every par 4, driver, driver, and just let the ball keep it low and let it run, and since then, I've loved it much.

Q. You mentioned your big partner you could hide behind. Tell us a bit more about you're doing quite well in the team game as well?
MARKUS BRIER: It's up-and-down but you can see he can hit the ball, like he drove over the ninth green, as well, so he can hit it far as well.
Today he wasn't playing too well but yesterday he had some really nice pars for birdies, and kept me out of trouble when I made a few bogeys. I think we are doing all right and he is a good team player because he always cheers me up and even though it looks like a bit of hard work for him to pick my all out of the hole when I make a birdie, but no, it's great fun, and I think he will play better tomorrow because I think he only had two shots better, only two shots today. But he's always there, and he can keep it in play, that's the good thing.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Markus, thank you, as always.

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